Two Days of Family Fun! Hunkered down. Sober. Kinda antsy.
Before I get started I want to note the recent passing of three very good friends of the fair. Dick Worster was a neighbor, friend, and strong supporter of the fair. He and Marge lived across from the fairgrounds while watching the evolution of the fayuh over a few decades. They both volunteered at the fair and loved meeting all of our wonderful patrons, friends, and family. Roger Stacey, another good friend, and loyal supporter of Springfield Fair passed recently after battling cancer. He was our official photographer and “on-call” nurse ready to fix anything from dog bites to bullet wounds. Unflappable, loyal, and good-natured – his ready smile was needed often and available always. Partnered with wife Janna – they could both be counted on to do whatever the situation called for. David Whalen – a newspaperman, artist, and another wonderful supporter of the fair. David pinch hit for 3-4 years to be our announcer after the passing of legendary Springfield Fair announcer - Everett McLeod. When not announcing, David drew caricatures adeptly. Until he drew one of me, I was unaware that I had four chins and enough hair growing out of my ears to build a bird’s nest. David helped us with ads, artistry, and offered some great ideas for events. We will miss them all – along with so many good and kind people who have passed, after being supporters of the fair. The Springfield Fair has truly been blessed by folks who love, not only the fair but our entire region. To the surviving families and friends, you should feel good about your loved one’s legacy. Rest well.
On another fair related note, we have recently been contacted by a local person, someone who has lived here forever and wishes to do something for the folks of the Springfield/Lincoln/Maine area. They have been impressed with the revitalization of the fair these past 30 years and also the strength and fortitude shown by all Mainers during our current coronavirus pandemic. They have offered to sponsor a free concert at the fairgrounds as soon as our “stay at home” order is lifted. This is an incredibly generous offer and it came completely out of the blue. The only condition is that they remain completely anonymous. In addition to my efforts, these past 5-6 months, to book another big concert for the summer of 2020 – I have added our request, to our Nashville agent, in hopes of landing an artist for the free show. The bad news is that Nashville is not booking any shows and they cannot until we are past the virus concerns. So, for now at least, our concert hopes are in limbo. And although we are waiting also for the okay for agricultural fairs to be held this year – we have been planning on one big day for the 2020 Springfield Fair.
We hope that we will be able to hold our fair again. So please pencil in Sept. 5th as your day to spend in Springfield. AND, keep Friday night, Sept. 4th available too as we look to hold the demolition derby on Friday night. We had so much entertainment booked, for our one big day, last year, that we ran long forcing the derby to finish up after 10:00 pm. This year we hope to have a local band perform at 5:00-5:30 with the derby beginning around 7:00 pm. So I guess we’re actually looking at a 1 ½ day fair this year.
I have found a number of small farmers who are willing to bring their animals for the fair. So we plan on having our first two barns full of critters. And our horse show will return as well. Last year we were short as far as animal displays and contests go. I am sorry for that. It is our goal to have lots of animals, large and small, for the kids to enjoy. Additionally, we are adding more fun events geared towards kids from 2-92. Also, Steve Akeley has offered to drive up, from Wiscasset, with a team of draft horses. He will do a number of demonstrations with horses, from dentistry to shoeing. Originally from The Country, Steve works with large animals statewide. Come watch, pick his brain, or set up a date for him to travel to your farm and work with your large animals. In addition to the derby, we will have the truck pulls, car show and antique tractor pulls, for all of our gearhead friends. Springfield Fair – a place with history, stories, emotions, and families – maybe even a place to meet your future spouse. Nothing surprises us at the fair. From a local marksman shooting the lights out of the Ferris wheel (late and after we closed) to another knucklehead ringing the bell, not with the supplied mallet but, with his forehead. The dance floor in the old pavilion bouncing as 4-500 people twisted and bumped to some good, (usually) live music. For my security crew (in the early days) watching the last fight draw to a close as the sun rose and we readied for another day at Springfield Fair. Thank you, Joe, Pete, Tate, Martin, Corey, Jim, and so many others, too numerous to mention, who have helped to “lug the load” and keep our little fair chugging along. 170 years of fun… and still going. To our sponsors, exhibitors, vendors, volunteers & patrons – thank you. We look forward to seeing each of you again this coming Labor Day Weekend (Fri. & Sat.). Stay safe. Enjoy the extra time with your family and look forward to a great summer ahead while drawing slowly to a close with the 170th Springfield Fair. 1851-2020 and counting… she’s a cockuh!